Two pre-Christmas events in Vankleek Hill will not look the same as usual; Excellent Events is hosting the Vankleek Hill Christmas Craft Fair in a new way and the parade of lights will not take place as usual. People are being invited to showcase their floats and displays on the Excellent Events Facebook page.

The 2020 Christmas Craft Fair is already underway and is taking place over five weekends, according to Samme Putzel, speaking on behalf of Excellent Events, which organizes these two annual events. But she emphasizes that the parade of lights, intended to be a reverse parade this year, will not take place for safety reasons.

She good-naturedly is calling it a “non-event”, but much like the virtual Horse and Buggy Parade, she is inviting those who would like to add some sparkle to the holiday event, to create their own float, drive around in Vankleek Hill or near where they live and share a video or photos with Excellent Events via its Facebook page. If people choose to drive their floats around Vankleek Hill, Putzel notes that Santa will be seen driving around town on November 27, between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., but emphasizes that there will be no gathering of visitors during this time. People should stay at home.

Vendors at the Christmas Craft Fair are installed at the Vankleek Hill Creating Centre each weekend. In order to respect physical distancing, a reduced number of vendors will be at each location but there will be different vendors each weekend of the Christmas Craft Fair, notes Putzel. This will allow for physical distancing of vendors inside each location, she explained.

There was no way that the parade could take place in its previous form, Putzel reiterated. In the past, people were standing five-deep in places along the parade route, and Putzel said that would not have been safe.

“We will always remember this year as being different; we have to do things differently this year,” she added.